In sporting activities, there is a great need to protect your smile. Anyone who participates in a sport that involves significant risk of injury to teeth, lips, cheeks, and tongue, should wear a mouth protector. This includes a wide range of sports like football, hockey, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, and volleyball. A properly fitted mouth protector will stay in place while you are wearing it, making it easy for you to talk and breathe.
There are three types of mouth protectors:
- Stock- Stock mouth protectors are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready-to-wear. Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well. In addition, they can be cumbersome and can make breathing and talking difficult as well.
- Boil and Bite- Boil and Bite Mouth protectors can be purchased at sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They should be softened in water; then, inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth. It is extremely important to follow the manufacturer's instructions in order to have a properly fitting mouth protector.
- Custom-fitted- Custom-fitted mouth protectors are made for you personally by your dentist. They are more expensive than the other versions because they are customized. However, they can offer a better fit than anything you can buy pre-made. Also, they are also designed to suit the needs of the individual athlete, with various thickness levels for different sports.
Remember, when wearing braces, Dr. Tigani always recommends wearing a mouth guard if you are playing a contact sport. We will provide you with a mouthguard or you can purchase one at a local sports store. We recommend the mouth guard brands Shock Doctor or Under Amour. Note: the mouth guard must be an orthodontic one otherwise, any other type could harm your braces, by causing them to break off and prolong treatment.